Tuesday, August 4, 2015

We Learn Nothing

Tim Kreider is a cartoonist for the NY Times, among other media. In We Learn Nothing, he looks back on his life. But the book is not so much an autobiography, as it is a sequence of chapters dedicated to specific times or moments in his life.

Kreider has a talent for being insightful, in my opinion. His life is not so remarkable, but the way he is able to dig into the human mind to decipher its thoughts and illustrate them for the reader is. Kreider has the ability to see a series of actions, and interpret and analogize what drives this behaviour.

There are some illustrations within the book as well, but I didn't really understand them or their purpose, so I stopped reading them after a while. I also learned (and likely just as quickly forgot) a bunch of new words. Kreider is a gifted linguist. It's not that he uses particularly long or pompous words, but he seems to have a tremendous vocabulary for some of the most arcane, short words of the English language.

I certainly understood some of the thoughts Kreider had within some of his incidents, as I've been in similar situations. But I didn't quite have the introspection to be able to interpret my thoughts as Kreider has been able to interpret his. If you are a student of the human mind, I suspect you will enjoy the book.

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